The Cleveland Plain Dealer today details the flaws in Inspector General Thomas Charles’ report rather than cover the substance of his unprecedented press release yesterday in which Charles attempted to make a new case to support his allegation that Ohio Department of Public Safety Acting Director Cathy Collins-Taylor lied under oath.? Except the eight pages of selected partial quotes (taking out all context of the statements) itself contradicts Charles’ claims.?
For example, it included a quote from Col. Dicken in which Dicken corroborates Collins-Taylor’s testimony that it was Dicken, not Collins-Taylor, that decided to scale back the operation.? Why Charles would promote evidence that he uncovered that contradicted his own conclusions is beyond me?
However, Reginald Fields comes across a major conflict of interest for Charles which might explain he’d make allegations that his facts don’t seem to support:
A former state trooper, Charles has clashed with Dicken and Collins-Taylor and his wife, a patrol captain, was passed over by Collins-Taylor for promotion last fall.
The person Charles is continued to accuse someone of committing a crime that she has not been, nor ever will be, charged with just happened to deny his wife a promotion last fall.
The Plain Dealer‘s Reginald Fields then covers the “Case of the Missing Statute”:
Charles said he believes Collins-Taylor made the decision the night before but lied to investigators because as a civilian, she may not have power to stop a police matter.
“If it is a law enforcement operation what might get dicey is obstruction of official business, perhaps,” Charles said. “I don’t think it’s an area I want to go down. That’s an area a prosecutor would have to address.”
Saxbe said Ohio law authorizes the director to approve investigations at agencies she oversees. Charles said he doesn’t think the law is that clear and forwarded his report to the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.
Really, what’s not clear about this statute?
The director of the department of public safety is the chief executive and administrative officer of the department . . . The director also may authorize and approve investigations to be conducted by any of the department?s divisions.
R.C. 5502.011(B) (emphasis added.)
How could the legislature possibly make it any clearer?? The Patrol is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.? She’s the director.? She has the authority to authorize and approve investigation.? This is yet another aspect of Charles’ report that he’s already changing his story on within a week of issuing it.
In his report, issued just last week, Charles said the Ohio legislature was silent as to whether the ODPS Director had any legal authority to be involved in pending criminal investigations within the agency.? Now he claims that a statute that seem clear to me, is somehow muddled.
Charles ends the story by actually distancing distancing himself from his own report… just one week after issuing it:
“I stayed as far away from it as I could just for those reasons,” Charles said. “I read it and signed it, that’s all true. But I didn’t do one interview. I didn’t do one thing on the investigation. I stand by that report.”
Of course, you do. And yet, you didn’t disclose this fact last week as you let the entire Ohio media report your conclusions without admitting your obvious conflict of interests which we’re learning more about every day.?
And yet, Charles goes out of his way twice to mention that he referred his report to the Franklin County Prosecutor, and yet fails to mention both times that the Franklin County Prosecutor, a Republican, had told Charles over a moth ago, before his report was even issued that he had no intent to try to prosecute Charles’ ridiculous allegations.? Charles’ omissions betray his claim that he’s been objective or neutral.? Hell, it’s an implicit admission that he knew he had an ax to grind, and he’s grinding it as publicly as he can.?
When has the Inspector General issued a press release to spin their report, yet again, before the agency has had an opportunity to even issue its official response yet?? Never.? Why has the I.G. only released transcripts of some interviews, but not others (like the inmates who told the I.G., in no uncertain terms, that the item was to be loose leaf tobacco, which Charles knows is the case because of the physical evidence? of tobacco his investigators had already found.)? Because Charles doesn’t want to admit that his allegation that tobacco was a smokescreen is, ironically, itself a smokescreen.
One week later, Charles is walking away from his report while trying to change his story and admitting his obvious bias, a bias he never addressed a week ago when he announced his report after leaking it to WBNS the night before.? You have to wonder how much Senate Republicans? really want to be the only folks left who cling to this flawed report’s conclusions.? This thing is unraveling quickly, and it’s not looking good for Charles.